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Bodies

I am still working on this.  If you have any corrections, additions or questions, please contact me.  Kazoologist@Kazoologist.org

The body of a kazoo is very important.

There are a lot of possible body variations.  They don't just make it look different.  They affect the sound as well.  Different body designs effect the volume, tone, ease or difficulty of playing, etc.

The size and location of the membrane is extremely important, because the more vibration of the membrane, the louder it is, and the more it affects the tone.  

The shape of the body is important in that this affects how and how much of the sound of the player's voice contacts the membrane.




GENERAL things that affect volume of sound of kazoos.

The larger the body the more air will need to be put into it than a smaller one, to get the same volume of sound.
The larger and/or closer the air exit opening is to the mouth, the more air will need to be put into it, to get the same volume of sound.


A  short tube, with a large membrane perpendicular to the axis of the body and mouth piece and a very small hole in the side will tend to have the most air contacting membrane.
In the case of the Songophone, the area of the membrane is increased by having the tube it is glued to cut at an oblique angle.



In the end blown, side hole kazoo, decreasing the size of the exit hole, increases the amount of air hitting the membrane.  George Smith found a taper starting after the membrane to be the most effective.  Not only does it prevent a lot of air from escaping, but the angles of the walls cause the sound to be deflected at angles, adding to the harmonics.

     



                                                                             Information in Chart Form

                                                                                        These are possible configurations.  Some of these may not have ever been used, yet.
                                                                         These are all instruments with a single membrane.  Instruments with multiple membranes will be covered later.

BODY SHAPE
      Membrane
       Location             
    Mouth Location                                        Effect                                                                                  Things That Can Affect The Sound                                                                                                              
straight cylindrical body,
with openings in both ends and a side opening. Such as one made of a cardboard paper towel or toilet paper roll.
the membrane is over the side hole
player hums in one end,  a lot of the sound will go straight out the other end without  contacting the membrane. The larger the membrane hole (and therefore the membrane) is, the more sound is likely to hit it.therefore more vibration, louder sound & the more the tone is affected. Also if the membrane is closer to the mouth end. 
 the player hums directly against the membrane
all of the sound will strike the membrane. The larger the membrane hole (and therefore the membrane) is, the more area there is, therefore more vibration, louder sound & the more the tone is affected.
If  the membrane is over an end hole
the player hums in the other end,  how much sound reaches the membrane will depend on the size of the side hole and how close it is to the mouth end or the membrane end. The larger the membrane hole (and therefore the membrane) is, the more sound is likely to hit it.therefore more vibration, louder sound & the more the tone is affected. Also if the membrane is closer to the mouth end. 
the player hums in the side hole,  more sound will reach the membrane if it is close to the mouth hole. If the mouth is closer to the open end most of the sound will go out there without contacting the membrane. The larger the membrane hole (and therefore the membrane) is, the more sound is likely to hit it.therefore more vibration, louder sound & the more the tone is affected. Also if the membrane is closer to the mouth end. 
 the player hums directly against membrane  all of the sound will strike the membrane. The larger the membrane hole (and therefore the membrane) is, the more area there is, therefore more vibration, louder sound & the more the tone is affected.
straight conical body,
with openings in both ends and a side opening.

 
the membrane is over the side hole
player hums in the small end, a lot of the sound will go straight out the other end without  contacting the membrane. The larger the membrane hole (and therefore the membrane) is, the more sound is likely to hit it.therefore more vibration, louder sound & the more the tone is affected. Also if the membrane is closer to the mouth end. 
player hums in the large end,  not much sound will go straight out the other end without  contacting the membrane.  A lot of the sound will go be deflected back into the body and have another chance of  contacting the membrane. The larger the membrane hole (and therefore the membrane) is, the more sound is likely to hit it.therefore more vibration, louder sound & the more the tone is affected. Also if the membrane is closer to the mouth end. 
 the player hums directly against membrane  all of the sound will strike the membrane and go out either end. The larger the membrane hole (and therefore the membrane) is, the more area there is, therefore more vibration, louder sound & the more the tone is affected.
If  the membrane is over the larger end hole
Because the membrane is over the larger end, the sound will not be effected as much as when the membrane is over the smaller hole.
Player hums into uncovered end hole how much sound reaches the membrane will depend on the size of the side hole and how close it is to the mouth end or the membrane end. The larger the side hole and the closer to the mouth piece the more sound will be lost before it contacts the membrane.
Player hums into side hole more sound will reach the membrane if it is close to the mouth hole. If the mouth is closer to the open end most of the sound will go out there without contacting the membrane.
the player hums directly against membrane  all of the sound will strike the membrane. The larger the membrane hole (and therefore the membrane) is, the more area there is, therefore more vibration, louder sound & the more the tone is affected.
If  the membrane is over the smaller end hole
Because the membrane is over the smaller end, the sound will not be effected as much as when the membrane is over the larger hole.
Player hums into uncovered end hole Much of the sound will strike the sides and be deflected back having more chance of escaping through the exit hole. The larger the side hole and the closer to the mouth piece the more sound will be lost before it contacts the membrane.
Player hums into side hole Much of the sound will strike the sides and be deflected back having more chance of escaping through the exit hole. The larger the side hole and the closer to the mouth piece the more sound will be lost before it contacts the membrane.
the player hums directly against membrane  all of the sound will strike the membrane. Some will go out the side hole. The rest go out the  flaring end which will have a megaphone effect of increasing the sound. In this case the side hole could be eliminated; not only is it not necessary, but  it decreases the amount of sound that takes advantage of  the flaring end effect.



Double conical body, with large ends joined, small openings on both ends and a side opening in one of the cones.
the membrane is over the side hole
Player hums into end closest to the membrane not much sound will go straight out the other end without  contacting the membrane.  A lot of the sound will go be deflected back into the body and have another chance of  contacting the membrane. If the diameter of the mouth piece is increased and the length decreased by cutting off the tip of that cone, you will have an instrument similar to Smith's submarine kazoo (patent # 700986).
Player hums into end farthest from the membrane not much sound will go straight out the other end without  contacting the membrane.  A lot of the sound will go be deflected back into the body and have another chance of  contacting the membrane.
the player hums directly against membrane  all of the sound will strike the membrane. The larger the membrane hole (and therefore the membrane) is, the more area there is, therefore more vibration, louder sound & the more the tone is affected.
If  the membrane is over an end hole closest to side hole
Player hums into side hole
Player hums into end farthest from the membrane
the player hums directly against membrane  all of the sound will strike the membrane. The larger the membrane hole (and therefore the membrane) is, the more area there is, therefore more vibration, louder sound & the more the tone is affected.
If  the membrane is over an end hole farthest from side hole
Player hums into side hole
Player hums into end farthest from the membrane
the player hums directly against membrane  all of the sound will strike the membrane. The larger the membrane hole (and therefore the membrane) is, the more area there is, therefore more vibration, louder sound & the more the tone is affected.
Double conical body, with small ends joined, large openings on both ends and a side opening in one of the cones.
the membrane is over the side hole
Player hums into end closest to the membrane
Player hums into end farthest from the membrane
the player hums directly against membrane  all of the sound will strike the membrane. The larger the membrane hole (and therefore the membrane) is, the more area there is, therefore more vibration, louder sound & the more the tone is affected.
If  the membrane is over an end hole closest to side hole
Player hums into side hole
Player hums into end farthest from the membrane
the player hums directly against membrane  all of the sound will strike the membrane. The larger the membrane hole (and therefore the membrane) is, the more area there is, therefore more vibration, louder sound & the more the tone is affected.
If  the membrane is over an end hole farthest from side hole
Player hums into side hole
Player hums into end farthest from the membrane
the player hums directly against membrane  all of the sound will strike the membrane. The larger the membrane hole (and therefore the membrane) is, the more area there is, therefore more vibration, louder sound & the more the tone is affected.
 
                                                                                                                           COMBINATIONS
                                                                                                                     Using the above shapes as parts of the instrument